A Beautiful Win. Cortes & Schmidt Shut Out Orioles. NY 6 Baltimore 0

It was a beautiful win in the middle of a Heatwave — Nestor Cortes Jr threw 6 masterful, shutout innings, and Clarke Schmidt got a save with 3 more shutout innings for the 6-0 Yankee win on a HOT, 98-degree Sunny Sunday in Baltimore.

The Red Hot Aaron Judge hit his MLB-leading 37th homer — a 2-run Bomb in the 3rd that put the Yankees ahead 3-0 at the time, and drove in 4 runs on the day with a 2-4 (and a walk) performance.

Judge called itย an important win: “Big time. Answering back, especially after the 2 games in Houston and then getting a chance to bounce back after a tough loss last night. That’s going to be big going into this off day and heading back to NY.”

The Yanks are heading back specifically to Citifield in NY to face the 59-37 Mets on Tuesday and Wednesday night.

The victory improved the Yankees’ record to 66-31 (.680 pct) — 12.5 ahead of Toronto, 13 ahead of Tampa, 17.5 over Boston, and 18 over the now 47-48 Orioles. The Yankees took the series over Baltimore, 2 games to 1.

1. Cortes Suffocating

It was so hot in the Northeast there didn’t seem to be enough oxygen in the air. And Nestor Cortes Jr suffocated the Orioles lineup with 6 shutout innings in the high heat.

“It reminded me of Miami, so it wasn’t too bad. But it was really hot out there,” said Cortes afterwards. “I remember going out every inning and sweating instantly right after the second pitch of warmups. So .. stayed warm but (it was) tough.”

Cortes credited his fastball command with his suffocating performance:ย “I think all the other pitches got better because of the fastball command. I was able to command both sides of the plate today, and go up in the zone when I needed to, and it made everything else much better.”

Cortes struck out 7 in the 6 innings, and scattered 6 hits. He got in trouble only once — in the 2nd — a 1-out double by Adley Rutschman (who is a doubles machine), and a single by Ramon Urias put runners on 1st and 3rd with the 1 out. But Cortes reared back with his own high heat and struck out Tyler Nevin and Robinson Chirinos — both swinging — to end the inning.

Nestor was helped by terrific Yankee defense — in the 5th, Isiah Kiner-Falefa made a Derek Jeter-esq play with an over-the-shoulder catch into the outfield — the play they say is the most difficult in baseball — for the 2nd out.

2. Yanks Break Through

Dean Kremer started for Baltimore and was light’s out in the first 2 innings — making one think it would be a pitcher’s duel in the sweltering temps. Kremer had a Great June — shutting out other teams in 3 starts, and came in with a slash line of 3-1 2.59.

But in the 3rd, Jose Trevino sliced a 1-out single to right center, and with 2 outs, DJ LeMahieu doubled to deep left center and it was 1-0 Yankees.ย “A Bomberoo!”, said John Sterling on the radio. Suzyn Waldman piped in: “In the old park before they did this monstrosity, that’s a home run! Thirty feet. They made it 30 feet deeper,” she added.

DJ LeMahieu has been Red Hot himself — coming into the game batting .362 (.494 OBP) in July, over 19 games, and 69 at bats. And he was 3-7 the last 2 games in June.

3. Red Hot Judge Provides Power

The All Star break seems to have refreshed Aaron Judge — who was in a mini slump before the break that dropped his average to high .270’s. He has been Red Hot since resuming play — and he was the next batter after LeMahieu.

Judge hit a BOMB to left — measured at 456 feet.ย “A MAMOTH 2-RUN HOME RUN!,” called Sterling on the radio. And it was NY 3 Baltimore 0.

4. Kiner-Falefa & Trevino Pair Push the Score

Two of the main reasons for the Yankees’ terrific 1st half has been the play of Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Jose Trevino — who have injected the lineup with punch-and-Judy, put-the-ball-in-play offense, speed, and Defense (although Kiner-Falefa has uncharacteristically made one too many errors at shortstop).

This game was no different as the pair produced two CLUTCH 2-out RBI singles in the 6th.

The inning started with Kramer hitting Anthony Rizzo with a pitch before getting Gleyber Torres on a fly.ย Keegan Akin relieved Kramer and Matt Carpenter met him with a single. But Akin got Joey Gallo on a fly for the 2nd out.

  • With 2 outs, Isiah Kiner-Falefa got a seeing-eye basehit up the middle for a BIG 2-out hit to make it 4-0 NY.
  • Jose Trevino followed with a double to Deep right and it was 5-0 NY.

The Yanks got another insurance run in the top of the 9th on a Clutch, 2-out RBI single to center by Aaron Hicks for the 6-0 final score.

5. Schmidt Brilliant with the 3-Inning Save

Clarke Schmidt pitched the last 3 innings of shutout ball in the sweltering heat — a brilliant performance.

Schmidt diagnosed his pitching:ย “I felt like I was throwing a lot of strikes. The breaking ball was really good; the curveball/slider mix. The two-seamer I felt was the best its been as far as movement profile. I was really happy with the shapes, and I think that led to the success for sure.


  • Was the 16th overall pick in the 2017 June draft and has been one of the Yankees’ elite prospects the last few years.
  • Is 26 yrs old, the age when most pitchers in the history of baseball come into their own as Major Leaguers.
  • Came into the day’s action with an excellent slash line of 4-2 3.00 this yr; 24 Innings Pitched, and only 16 hits allowed.
  • Has been sent back and forth between AAA and the Yankees all year.

The horrific injury to Michael King has opened up an opportunity for Schmidt to become a regular at the back of the bullpen. But he has to make the most of his opportunity pronto because Jonathan Loaisiga and Aroldis Chapman are back and attempting to climb back into their old roles.

All good news for the Yankees (except the King injury).

A Beautiful Win.

The Boxscore


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